02 Apr It’s a Cassowary!
Our mystery animal is Connie the Cassowary!
Cassowaries share the ratite family with some of the world’s largest birds (ostrich, emus and rheas), along with some smaller relatives like the kiwi. Cassowaries are solitary creatures, meaning they live alone in their environment, although if they come across a friend they communicate using infrasonic booms (low frequency, deep sounds lower than what humans can hear). If they are approached they can be quite aggressive and have a very large middle claw on their foot which can injure and even kill. These giant birds are predominately frugivorous, meaning they eat fruit, but often also eat small vertebrates (animals with backbones). Check out the links below to hear the Cassowary call and discover more!
Our cassowary Connie was welcomed into the UNE Natural History Museum in 2018. Sadly, she was badly injured when she was caught in a pig trap, and had to be euthanized. However, her death was not in vain. Connie’s taxidermied skin is on display in the museum and she now stands proudly as a monument to the plight of threatened animals all over the world. She has educated many school visitors about the impact of humans on the environment, and the important work that we have to do to ensure the survival of her species, along with many other threatened species across the globe.
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